The City Record – foto by Smith

While unsuccessfully looking through the June 9 issue of The City Record Official Publication of the Council of the City of Cleveland for something to cut out for use in a collage, I discovered what I’d construe to be a bit of flim-flam two-step soft-shoe skullduggery: every single item discussed or approved by council was handled either as an “emergency ordinance” or an “emergency resolution.’

I believe (but do not know) this is because there are different rules involved when voting on emergency measures, since by definition “emergency” implies a lack of deliberating time. I suspect emergency rules allow for faster voting, fewer words, and less transparency — but that could be just the inner political cynic that life has turned me into talking.

There seem to be a lot of emergencies — we’re talking 37 large pages with three columns per page of small print in this report of at least 150 emergency measures. Since this is a weekly report, it means we’re talking 21 emergencies every day of every week. I knew city life was fraught with peril, but really.

But City Council only meets once a week, except during the summer when they meet but once a month. That means during their once a week sessions they have to process 150 items; and during their once a month meetings they have to get through 600 to 750 items. I don’t see time for a lot of discussion or analysis or depth involved here; perhaps that is where the ’emergencies’ arise.

Curious, I checked these emergencies out – most deal with buying stuff and paying people off and giving the rich and corporations more of our tax money, while the remainder deal with such mundane emergencies as issuing a “permit to the Lion of Judah Church to stretch a banner on Lexington Avenue between East 70th & East 66th Street for the period from June 18, 2010 to July 18, 2010, inclusive, publicizing “Focus on the Family” and other kiss the babies and support our troops politicizing.

The financial emergency ordinances have some odd language in them, like the first one they took up — “An emergency ordinance authorizing the purchase by one or more requirement contracts of Microsoft licenses for the various divisions of City government, for a period up to three years, with three one-year options to renew, the first and third of which are exercised through additional legislative authority.” Hmmmm, they have to vote later on the 1st and 3rd renewal, but not the 2nd? Why would they stipulate skipping the second year?

Do people really talk and think in words like these? If they do, maybe that’s what’s wrong with the system, we’re letting the dunderhead obsessives run our city with their thick fingers, obfuscating wordings, and hive mind.

low rates no loitering – foto by Smith

5 Responses

  1. All this is really just fake reality. Things break down when you start looking. It’s all fake–all of this. All of this is fake.

  2. There are emergencies, there are emergency emergencies, there are emergency postponments, there are emergency postponments for happy hour, and there are Frank Jackson emergencies. All of the above are normal emergencies except the last one which is an emergency emergency.
    Then there are emergent emergencies but that’s another subject.

  3. ah… politics.. local politics is actually more nefarious than even national. Because it mostly runs below the radar and under the table.

    sad but very true.

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